by Gordon M. Hahn
Some Western sources have been floating the idea of cutting Russia off from the SWIFT inter-banking mechanism. This step could be aking to cutting off oil supplies to Imperial Japan and lead to a similar result, though one not necessarily initiated by Russia but rather by the forces on the ground in Ukraine: the Ukrainian or Donbass forces.
Russia will be sure to retaliate harshly, as Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned today: “…(O)ur economic reaction and in general any other will be unlimited” [Дмитрий Медведев: «…наша экономическая реакция, да и вообще всякая другая, будет без ограничений» (www.ntv.ru/novosti/1295220/)]. What steps might Moscow take? The menu looks something like this:
- Call in Ukraine’s $3b debt
- reduce oil supplies to Europe
- accelerate the BRICS-based and China-allied de-dollarization, separate financial system, and BRICS’s own rating agencies
- increase already high level of gold purchases
- perhaps increase military assistance to Donbass rebels
- and perhaps undertake a military buildup in Crimea and along Ukrainian southeastern border.
Big war will be on the horizon.